The press check process intimidates some people — but there is no need to be, especially if you come prepared and have a game plan in mind. As soon as the standard ink density is achieved, the pressman will pull a sheet for you to look at, approve and probably sign off on. Take your time, pay attention, and have a checklist to go by. Here are a few tips:
1. Bring a second person and put them on task for proofreading.
2. The press sheet cannot normally exactly match either the original copy or original proof.
3. Bring the original copy, the ink and paper swatches and the final ok’d proofs.
4. Compare any PMS colors to the PMS book.
5. Obtain an overall impression: slowly scan the entire press sheet.
6. Does the sheet being used match the specified sheet/paper?
7. Is all copy on the sheet? Any missing elements? Copy changes made?
8. Check all registration and trapping.
9. Study the pictures, type, and screens to make sure they are consistent from page to page.
10. Look for flaws and imperfection: broken type, pinholes, mottling, hickeys or ghosting.
11. Fold the sheet for correct backups, and crossovers. Make a folded dummy, check for alignment.
12. Weigh the piece if it is to be mailed.
13. Number the press sheets as you receive them.
14. Verify the paper stock is what you requested in weight and color.
15. Confirm that color breaks are correct.
16. Examine sheets for hickeys and blemishes.
17. Remember to check color match consistency on elements that cross over from page to page.
18. Fold or cut the press sheet across the image and compare it with the other crossover page.
19. Verify that bleeds extend beyond the trim marks.
Take your time for accuracy, but be respectful of other peoples’ time as well.